NORTH Bromsgrove High School claimed its first ever Bromsgrove Debating Competition crown after a tightly fought contest with Hagley High.
Jacob Cottrell and Owen Wakefield reasoned their way to glory during a fantastic evening of debate hosted by South Bromsgrove High School which had won the title for the last three years.
The first motion of the night regarded whether all key sporting events should be on terrestrial television with the reserve Bromsgrove School team propositioning they should and South Bromsgrove High opposing the motion.
The second saw Haybridge High propose that all UK police officers be armed with Bromsgrove School arguing against and the third had Hagley High RC School speaking in favour of the UK having a written constitution and North Bromsgrove High debating against.
Schools were judged on their arguments, how they put them across and how they dealt with ‘points of information’ from opposing team.
At the end of the first round, Hagley High and North Bromsgrove scored the highest points and the two met again in the final.
That tasked the competitors with arguing whether ‘The house should introduce electronic voting for all UK elections’.
And, after the debates and summaries, which even incorporated answers to questions ‘from the floor’, North Bromsgrove narrowly came out on top.
More than 50 people watched the evening’s debating which was organised by Alex Boulter and hosted by MP Sajid Javid.
The judging panel included Mr Javid, Standard editor Tristan Harris, former Woodrush High School politics student Kathryn Powell and Dennis Norton, the founder of the Norton Museum.
Both the finalists and the runners-up spoke of the great camaraderie between the teams.
Jacob said: “I have done several debating competitions but this is by far the best event I have taken part in.”
Owen added: “We are ecstatic to have won – everyone debated well on the evening.
“It’s great we were the first pair to win it for North Bromsgrove.”
Adam Riley and Ronan Fox, from runners-up Hagley High, both said debating in a contest like this was something they would recommend to all young people.
“It has definitely inspired me to do more debating in the future,” said Ronan.
“I have done public speaking before, but this is the first debating competition I have tried and it was a very close call – credit has to go to Mr O’Brien who was our mentor and helped us a lot,” added Adam.
Mr Javid said: “Overall, the debating tonight was of an exceptional quality and made the decision of the judges very difficult indeed.
“It’s great to see Bromsgrove schools taking part in this competition which has been getting better year on year.
“North thoroughly deserved their win and I’m already looking forward to next year’s competition.”